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(S+) German emigrants: »The terrible puke started« – luck and sorrow in the life of new Americans


The Palatinate saddler Georg Heinrich Isemann was drawn to the USA by ship in 1837. There, German immigrants were often met with contempt. His letters home show happiness and sorrow in the life of a New American.

Arrived: When this photo of Georg Heinrich Isemann was taken in 1872, he was a made man in the USA.

He proudly sent the portrait to his friend back home, with whom he had kept in touch since emigrating in 1837.


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Fritz Kieffer from: Letters from Palatinate emigrants from North America

On July 9, 1837, the ship "Manchester" had only been at sea for a few hours when a storm blew up.

Thunder rumbled, rain lashed the deck, gusts made the sailor sway.

The 148 passengers felt sick to their stomachs.

Almost all came from Germany and wanted to emigrate to America.

One of them was the Palatinate saddler Heinrich Georg Isemann, 33, who was traveling with his wife and two daughters.

In one of his letters one can read what happened next: "The women could no longer remain on the deck, went to bed and then the terrible puking started."

The men fought seasickness with brandy.

An hour later they too had to vomit.

"So by 6 p.m. the puking was in full swing," Isemann wrote, "the women were crying and praying, the men were cursing and raving."

The storm was getting worse and worse.

Isemann heard the sailors singing from the rigging, below deck an old emigrant from Alsace called the Catholics together to pray a rosary.

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Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2022-01-24

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